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  1. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by mortalveneer View Post
    KBros' political activities are largely seen as lobbying, so I was confused how the Berkeley Earth project was a counterexample to "just ask any scientist who isn't paid by lobbies". Maybe it wasn't and I just misread your intent.
    There's two things you need to consider; that the Koch brothers don't personally select every organization that their foundations and lobbyist groups send money to, and that their own donors page claims that these grants were unrestricted. Some desk dude at the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation decided that BEST was likely to deliver results that ran counter to claims by proponents of anthropological global warming.

    Their data set and methodology is available for you to view on their website, and it looks sound. Furthermore, BEST itself doesn't necessarily confirm of deny claims about global warming, and isn't complete, but it does contradict claims made by hardline AGW proponents and detractors.

    Quote Originally Posted by rilu View Post
    Woah, hold on a sec, one thing is saying technology can be used for sustainability, but it is something completely different to defend nuclear energy by simply stating (no arguments attached) that there are no alternatives, and that the trade-off justifies the risk. These are really heavy claims, and in fact the very core of all the debates about nuclear energy, so let's just keep them as that for the beginning.
    Nuclear and geothermal are preferable to oil and coal power and I would welcome the switch to the former from the latter. Clean energy sources aren't capable of supplying current demand and aren't likely to be able to, ever. Ultimately commercially viable fusion plants will be the way forward.

  2. #42

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    Do you have a problem with sandcastles?

    Quote Originally Posted by rilu View Post
    how can you say which energy source is preferable without calling upon a study which shows why and discusses the variety of aspects that contrast the status quo with possible developmental plans for the future?
    Because that was a statement of opinion.

    The problem with wind, solar, and hydro is that they're nondispatchable - their output can't be scaled to meet demand, so for a grid reliant on these sources to be able to meet peak demand would require a sprawling and economically inefficient infrastructure. Additionally, solar is extremely expensive and none of these power plants can be built and utilized in every place in the world in the way that most types of dispatchable plants can be built nearly anywhere.

    but which of them are to be developed further because of the inadequacy of the existing ones.
    Fusion uses relatively cheap and very plentiful fuel, its byproducts have low radioactivity and short half lives, and the accident potential is very low because the reaction will cease if the reactor itself is damaged. Non-commercially viable (meaning energy output is lower than input) plants already exist and commercially viable ones are likely to exist in our lifetimes, although there's plenty of extremely optimistic and pessimistic people who will tell you something different. It's certainly promising.

  3. #43

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    Everyone mentions Chernobyl but forgets that radioactive waste gave us the Ninja Turtles. THANK YOU OPPENHEIMER

  4. #44

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    Shouldn't all this go in one of the political discussions threads, and we can get back to talking about what the NEXT techniques/trends/travesties in fashion might be, however sinful and heedless that may or may not be?
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  5. #45
    kitsch killer Faust's Avatar
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    To bring this back to what's NEXT.

    I TRULY HOPE WHAT'S NEXT IS PEOPLE BUYING LESS AND SPENDING MORE PER ITEM.

    Let me explain. Our consumption habits are very new in historical terms. Up until 50 years ago or so, a coat DID cost you a month's salary. But it was also a coat that lasted you years. And this is how it should be. You want to kill H&M? You are worried about sustainability? Change people's consumption habits. Re-educate them about quality. Teach them to value care and excellence that goes into the making of good objects. When this mentality shift happens, many of these problems will go away.

    I am beginning to hear murmurs that this is starting to happen. I truly hope this takes off. We have gorged ourselves on fast fashion enough - it's time we start vomiting it all out.
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  6. #46
    kitsch killer Faust's Avatar
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    Also, what I hope is NEXT - young designers stepping up their game by producing high quality items at a lower price. Sidestep the fashion system and you will lower your costs significantly.

    I was at the Yohji store in Paris today and a cotton jersey cardigan carried a tag of 480 Euros. There has to be a better away. Cotton jersey costs $5-10 a yard for a company with buying power like Yamamoto. This is a real opportunity for new designers to compete on both quality and price.

    Also, what's NEXT. Chinese designers like Uma Wang and Ziggy Chen leading the next wave. We have not heard from that neck of the woods yet and something tells me we will.
    Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months - Oscar Wilde

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  7. #47

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    Woah, hold on a sec, one thing is saying technology can be used for sustainability, but it is something completely different to defend nuclear energy by simply stating (no arguments attached) that there are no alternatives, and that the trade-off justifies the risk. These are really heavy claims, and in fact the very core of all the debates about nuclear energy, so let's just keep them as that for the beginning.
    Though I realize now that I wasn't super clear, that wasn't what I was trying to say at all. I don't have the expertise to argue which form of energy production offers the best hope for a sustainable future. However, the alternatives to nuclear energy, of which there are many, carry with them their own costs, and that is what I believe people are failing to take into account - basically, people are way too far from a holistic view of the situation to have anything to say of value.
    Quote Originally Posted by Faust View Post
    To bring this back to what's NEXT.

    I TRULY HOPE WHAT'S NEXT IS PEOPLE BUYING LESS AND SPENDING MORE PER ITEM.

    Let me explain. Our consumption habits are very new in historical terms. Up until 50 years ago or so, a coat DID cost you a month's salary. But it was also a coat that lasted you years. And this is how it should be. You want to kill H&M? You are worried about sustainability? Change people's consumption habits. Re-educate them about quality. Teach them to value care and excellence that goes into the making of good objects. When this mentality shift happens, many of these problems will go away.

    I am beginning to hear murmurs that this is starting to happen. I truly hope this takes off. We have gorged ourselves on fast fashion enough - it's time we start vomiting it all out.
    I wholeheartedly agree with this. I'm majoring in economics, and I hope to have at least some focus on development (particularly third world development). One of the best ways to help the third world avoid the fairly deplorable parts of industrialization is simply to pay more than we have to - sure, the third world could work it's way through the stages of industrialization the way the first world did, with all the accompanying child labor and cruelty, but we have the means to prevent that, simply by being willing to pay for products produced at fair wages. If we also get a better product, all the better for everyone.

    Young republicans and democrats in my early economics classes in college were always arguing for government to force a return of manufacturing to the United States. It boggled my mind that, when asked how much of their clothes and furniture (two things that can be purchased US made) were in fact made in the United States, the answer was usually near zero, citing costs issues.

    Can't have your cake and eat it too.

  8. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by YoungM View Post
    Young republicans and democrats in my early economics classes in college were always arguing for government to force a return of manufacturing to the United States. It boggled my mind that, when asked how much of their clothes and furniture (two things that can be purchased US made) were in fact made in the United States, the answer was usually near zero, citing costs issues.
    With the exception of arms manufacturing, factories in America are extremely dated and generally American labor is less skilled or perceived to be less skilled than labor in other countries. Additionally there hasn't been significant advances in sewing machine technology; clothes have become cheaper mostly because of third world wage slavery and because cheap clothes just skip production steps. I don't know that there's a method of seaming garments that doesn't result in a loss of accuracy, unless it can simultaneously sew and press. The way forward is likely going to be in garments that can be quickly produced with automated machinery. Like knitting machines that make Logan's Run status jumpsuits.


  9. #49

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complete_garment_knitting
    And 3D printing or similar technology that can use textile fibers as a medium. and the processes will be cleaner since we'll only be using exactly as much material as the garment requires instead of producing huge bolts of cloth, cutting out shapes, and throwing the rest away.

  10. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by Faust View Post
    Also, what I hope is NEXT - young designers stepping up their game by producing high quality items at a lower price.
    I've been thinking about this quite a lot this week. What's "next" is definitely more likely to come from a young or new designer. Someone who doesn't have the following that others do...is willing to take more risks in order to produce something that wow's us.

    Don't get me wrong, I completely understand that this is a business and designers must make a living. That fact drives consistency which can put a bit of a strain on creativity and evolution. I see designers getting defensive when this comes up...no need to.

    The lower price point could definitely allow for more visibility. Buyers are more likely to take a chance...as are consumers. Problem here, I have not seen this happen. It appears that once a young or lesser established designer enters this realm, their price points are similar to those that are established and we already support.

    Lastly, I am realizing just ho much I miss Mcqueen. I miss the spectacle of his shows the excitement of what he would do "next". Thom Browne actually did this for me with his FW2012 FrankenFootballer show. I'm not putting him next to Mcqueen but in the same way, I'm not going to wear it but it got me excited.

  11. #51

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    That's because young designers are subject to the same market forces as established designers. Prices won't come down in any meaningful way until we change the model by which designers deliver their clothing to consumers.

  12. #52

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    this was brought up in fashion media some months back, but isn't affordable sustainability what bruno pieters is trying to do? would any experts like to comment on his prices? they seem to be comparable to those of designers not using organic/fair trade/recycled fabrics: €1000 a coat, €4-500 for trousers and shirts, €150-250 for tees. there are other people meeting these criteria for cheaper, but not with the same quality of design. (even pieters' collaborations aren't fully to my taste.)

    following a similar thread, i also have a question about a shift that this whole NEXT discussion has undergone. on the first page, there was a lot of talk about the aesthetics of fashion. on the second page, the talk shifted to addressing the ethics of clothing production. what i'm wondering about is the nature of the relationship between design innovation and ethical/sustainable production. isn't asking a designer to not only create bold new ideas but do so to the ethical standards of geoffrey a guarantor of high prices? if the designers already held in esteem here adopted sustainable practices, then i can't speak for others, but a jacket would start to cost a little more than just one month's rent for me...

    edit: instead of just asking questions, i'll make an argument. three things have been called for next: innovation, ethical production, and (relative) affordability. only two of these are possible at a time. can't have all the cake and eat it.
    Last edited by MJRH; 07-01-2012 at 03:23 AM.
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  13. #53
    Senior Member kuugaia's Avatar
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    ^ I believe what Faust said in the previous page ties into what you are talking about. By changing consumer desires, you are working from the root of the problem; which essentially changes the entire landscape afterwards.

    Companies like H&M only exist because they are supplying whatever the market is demanding - which is cheap, fast, and fashionable clothing (disposable at that). If the change for high quality and long-lasting goods was to be the new demand of the market, H&M would be forced to change its business model to stay viable. So realistically, hating the H&M of now is only hating the manifestation of our market's demands. Should the market change it's demands to higher quality/longer lasting/lower consumption, maybe the H&M of the future will be something entirely different.

    'Affordability' in the recent discussion's context is only a means for easier adoption. Spending a month's worth of salary on a coat can be considered affordable, it really depends on how you look at it. I.e. how many coats do you expect/want to buy?

  14. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by kuugaia View Post
    Companies like H&M only exist because they are supplying whatever the market is demanding - which is cheap, fast, and fashionable clothing (disposable at that). If the change for high quality and long-lasting goods was to be the new demand of the market, H&M would be forced to change its business model to stay viable. So realistically, hating the H&M of now is only hating the manifestation of our market's demands. Should the market change it's demands to higher quality/longer lasting/lower consumption, maybe the H&M of the future will be something entirely different.
    I find this thought very interesting, however I think H&M also deserves some (or perhaps, a lot of) credit for actively shaping the market as well, rather than solely conforming to pre-existing market forces.
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  15. #55

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    there is a lot of things that has been said in this thread
    some that would have liked to reply to earlier but could not
    now with a little time in my hands between meeting i wil try to get back to a few of them as best as I can

    but last things first........
    do people really want cheaper more affordable clothing?
    sometimes, I don't think so, I think there is an element of boastfulness that goes with human thinking/ feeling, that says we want the more expensive, more exclusive items as it gives a feeling of "exaltedness" that cheaper, just as good and even better alternatives do not.

    There are several brands doing good work, and dare I say, better quality work than many of the highly praised brands here, and certainly I don't see many of them being bought or given the level of respect that is given to certain brands that is almost revered to the point of worship......

    got a visitor, will stay more later
    “You know,” he says, with a resilient smile, “it is a hard world for poets.”
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  16. #56

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    Yes and no

    as a designer i can tell you that its not easy nor cheap to make clothing, so that is a factor,

    I can tell you as expensive as things are a lot of designers in our niche are not making a profit, if only enough to get by

    but if you continue to buy at high prices, then what else do you expect, but high prices are only a concern for one segment of the population, this like us whose income bracket excluded us from affording as much as we would like.

    but the discussion isn't so much about this as about what is next in terms of design, innovation and aesthetics
    “You know,” he says, with a resilient smile, “it is a hard world for poets.”
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    Zam Barrett Spring 2017 Now in stock

  17. #57

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    Been too busy to contribute here...but here goes. I believe we all have a role to play in how we utilize the earth's resources and that sustainability is not something that can be just handed off to someone else to take care of.

    Quote Originally Posted by surver View Post
    thank you faust ;)i don't think looking for the next trend or aesthetic is the point nor is it interesting, but more for how all this can be more sustainable, interesting, relevant.

    'next' in the sense of a continuum and not as a break (as understood in mainstream fashion terms).
    I believe technology will continue to play a role in this continuum or evolution - whether we see it as part of the raw materials, manufacturing equipment, transportation & distribution etc. Is it wrong to grow stronger crops of cotton such that the garments we produce will last longer? Yes, I'm aware that there are + and - to this, and there are many heated debates when it comes to genetically modified crops. I believe that we can find a balance that allows all stakeholders to find a win-win.

    If technology can be used to help us find a way to reduce wastage on raw materials or re-use the raw materials in a different way, then it's a step toward sustainability.

    Quote Originally Posted by Faust View Post
    To bring this back to what's NEXT. I TRULY HOPE WHAT'S NEXT IS PEOPLE BUYING LESS AND SPENDING MORE PER ITEM.
    I am beginning to hear murmurs that this is starting to happen. I truly hope this takes off. We have gorged ourselves on fast fashion enough - it's time we start vomiting it all out.
    Since moving overseas to a one season climate, I realize I can get by in both my work/personal life with a lot less than what I have. This was always in the back of my mind even before moving, but now this is front and center. I've always bought with the intent of having a piece that I could wear for 3-5 years if not more. Men's fashion doesn't change so drastically as compared to women's so I think this is made easier for males.

    Yes, I buy more than I should because I'm curious and want to try something new from one of the brands discussed here. But I could certainly buy a lot less. The question is if we all thought this way, what is the impact on the designer/manufacturers? And I'm not saying what I buy on my own would make any difference at all cuz I'm just one person.

    Quote Originally Posted by Faust View Post
    Also, what I hope is NEXT - young designers stepping up their game by producing high quality items at a lower price. Sidestep the fashion system and you will lower your costs significantly.

    I was at the Yohji store in Paris today and a cotton jersey cardigan carried a tag of 480 Euros. There has to be a better away. Cotton jersey costs $5-10 a yard for a company with buying power like Yamamoto. This is a real opportunity for new designers to compete on both quality and price.
    I think these exist everywhere today, but the challenge is how to get discovered. I think we all have friends or family that are designers of some sort and even though they might do amazing work, they still have to scrape by. Without access to the big marketing/branding engines that some of these companies have, it is a tough grind to get noticed out there. Most pursue the online social media route in the hopes that someone will start talking about them.

    Many of us shun the 'Made in China' label but they have huge manufacturing capacity that only exists in a few other places around the world. If you want to scale and drive costs down, how else can you do it without moving production to one of these places? I know it still exists in NA, but it is certainly not the norm. GBS mentioned it in one of his threads about the the demise of manufacturing in Italy.

    Many moons ago, I worked at a local menswear manufacturing company in NA and the laborer/sewers were my mother's age who were immigrants of Asian descent. They were paid for every piece they worked on. And they were happy in the little community that they were part of. Now everyone comments on how the manufacturing sector has disappeared in many parts of the world but what's the solution? No one wants those jobs for the most part.

    Where I work now, I deal with some local manufacturing companies and one of their biggest problems will be who replaces their aging work force. They cannot find anyone who wants these jobs and are forced to move production overseas if they want their business to continue.

    Quote Originally Posted by Patroklus View Post
    That's because young designers are subject to the same market forces as established designers. Prices won't come down in any meaningful way until we change the model by which designers deliver their clothing to consumers.
    I agree that the business model has to change in order to help in this process. You see this being tried out in things like the Etsy store (this is not a commentary about the products but strictly the model) where 'designers' (this is not a commentary of how good or bad the products are) can reach out directly to a marketplace.

    We see other 'experiments' taking place where there are only online stores and no bricks and mortar stores (Mr.Porter, MyHabit etc) to support them or where one becomes the wholesaler / retailer without having a physical store. The result is supposedly lower prices to the consumer, sometimes upfront with things like pre-orders or end of season blowouts where you see 80% off. This gives me an idea of what these guys are paying for the volumes that they probably buy at.

    So what's next - creations that come about through more collaborations and exchanges that lean towards 'open source'. Technology will enable changes to take place faster, potentially provide a way to help new comers drive costs down and keep established businesses (suppliers of materials) in the game longer.
    Quote Originally Posted by eat me View Post
    If you can't see the work past the fucking taped seams , cold dye wash or raw hems - perhaps you shouldn't really be looking at all.

  18. #58
    kitsch killer Faust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sshum88 View Post

    Yes, I buy more than I should because I'm curious and want to try something new from one of the brands discussed here. But I could certainly buy a lot less. The question is if we all thought this way, what is the impact on the designer/manufacturers? And I'm not saying what I buy on my own would make any difference at all cuz I'm just one person.
    Ideally, it should even out in the end. Buy less, pay more. The impediment here is not the methods of production, but the capitalist morals (well, lack thereof). Marx was right.

    I think these exist everywhere today, but the challenge is how to get discovered. I think we all have friends or family that are designers of some sort and even though they might do amazing work, they still have to scrape by. Without access to the big marketing/branding engines that some of these companies have, it is a tough grind to get noticed out there. Most pursue the online social media route in the hopes that someone will start talking about them.
    You typed these words in the very medium of the change you are wondering about. The Internet can and does derail the traditional model.

    Many of us shun the 'Made in China' label but they have huge manufacturing capacity that only exists in a few other places around the world. If you want to scale and drive costs down, how else can you do it without moving production to one of these places? I know it still exists in NA, but it is certainly not the norm. GBS mentioned it in one of his threads about the the demise of manufacturing in Italy.

    Many moons ago, I worked at a local menswear manufacturing company in NA and the laborer/sewers were my mother's age who were immigrants of Asian descent. They were paid for every piece they worked on. And they were happy in the little community that they were part of. Now everyone comments on how the manufacturing sector has disappeared in many parts of the world but what's the solution? No one wants those jobs for the most part.

    Where I work now, I deal with some local manufacturing companies and one of their biggest problems will be who replaces their aging work force. They cannot find anyone who wants these jobs and are forced to move production overseas if they want their business to continue.
    This is a HUGE problem. I spoke about it with A.F. Vandevorst some days ago and they said that the reason they moved production to Eastern Europe is that because no one in the Western Europe wants to make clothes anymore. This was a real revelation for me. And all this time I have thought of moving production elsewhere exclusively in terms of cutting costs and not skilled workers.

    After this generation of craftsmen goes, we might be seriously fucked. We need to make making things cool again, like the hipsters have done on the cottage industry level.
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  19. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by Faust View Post
    After this generation of craftsmen goes, we might be seriously fucked. We need to make making things cool again, like the hipsters have done on the cottage industry level.
    I couldn't agree with this more! There are qualities of this movement that I really appreciate. The frugal yearning to craft and design I'm all about. What I'd like to see is this more in the luxury department. Don't get me wrong I love selvage denim and redwings boots etc. but I gravitate more to a more refined style when it comes to the unnecessary necessities. Not really attracted to emulating the "look" of a dry goods shop owner from the 1800s or a rail line worker from that era. I'm more romanced by the dandies and William Hearst mogul types purely from an aesthetic level.

    It seems to me that to in order to create a move in this direction influences must be made in the pop culture arena via music, film and fashion.
    Last edited by fncyths; 07-05-2012 at 05:49 PM.

  20. #60

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    I know this article does not mention the energy costs associated with breaking down bottles and transforming them into thread (likely large, perhaps prohibitively so from a sustainability perspective), but it nonetheless made me think of this discussion.

    there is much worth commenting on in the previous posts, but I am brutally strapped for time.
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